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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Qurratulain Hyder (Aini Apa), 1927-2007 - azra raza

t was a lovely winter evening in 1983 when I first met Aini Apa at the home of my beloved Misdaq Khala Jaan (Saleha Abid Hussain, the prolific Urdu writer) in Okhla (New Delhi). She looked even grander in person than I had imagined and by the end of that evening, I was completely ravished forever by her palpable charisma, her sharp intellect and her great good humor. She, on the other hand, thought I was a snob and said so to my dearest friend Sughra Mehdi (a famous writer in her own right and the adopted daughter of Misdaq Khala Jaan and Janab Abid Hussain Sahib). The reason she thought I was a snob is quintessential Aini Apa. My visit to Delhi, along with my mother, had been hastily arranged from Karachi, while I was home from the USA for two short weeks and our stay in India was going to be quite rushed. The dinner had been arranged by Misdaq Khala Jaan so Ammi and I could meet our friends and relatives in one evening. Aini Apa was living in Zakir Bagh at the time, being the first occupant of the Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan Chair at Jamia Millia, and was a frequent presence at my aunt’s home. She considered Sughra Mehdi as her friend and confidant (Aini Apa bestowed the title of “Musheer Fatima” on Sughra as Sughra is forever being solicited for practical advice by the young and old alike).

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Blogger Raza Rumi said...

Indeed this was too moving:)

August 28, 2007 7:15 AM  
Blogger Bilal Warraich said...

Aini AApa , larger than life figure in Urdu Literature , will live forever in the hearts and minds of urdu novel lovers. Gotum Neelumber will plunge again and surface again...this journey of evolution will never come to an end.

September 01, 2007 7:25 PM  

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